GREENCASTLE — An outstanding second quarter and a defensive stand at the end of the game were the two biggest ingredients in a huge night for the Greencastle-Antrim football team Friday night.
Playing Mid Penn Colonial Division rival Shippensburg at Kaley Field, the Blue Devils needed a win to qualify for the District 3 Class 5A playoffs for the first time since 2011.
And they got it. Barely.
Greencastle (7-3, 4-3 MPC) scored all of its points in a span of just over 6 minutes before the first half ended, and got a sack by Raul Luna to end the game with the Greyhounds (4-6, 3-4 MPC) threatening.
“At halftime, we had the momentum, up 21-0, but Ship put together two good drives on the ground to make it close,” G-A coach Devin McCauley said. “It was a really good high school football game and the stadium was packed on both sides. Hats off to Ship, but but we found ways to make plays at the end.”
The biggest play came from Luna. The Hounds had a fourth-down play with time running out around the Greencastle 25. QB Brady Maciejewski used a play-action fake, but Luna wasn’t fooled and sacked him for a loss that essentially ended the game.
With the, Greencastle unofficially earned the No. 10 ranking in 5A. That would mean a first-round game at No. 7 South Western (7-3) on Friday night. Official pairings will be released Saturday morning.
“We’re really happy for the opportunity to play in the playoffs,” McCauley said. “We weren’t ready to be done (with our season) yet, and now, we’re playing with house money.”
The Blue Devils were still scoreless midway through the second period when QB Logan Alvey found receiver Carter McCauley for a 16-yard touchdown. When G-A got the ball back, the same combination worked for an 11-yard TD and a 14-0 lead.
Just 10 seconds later, it was 21-0. Garrett Blubaugh picked off a pass from Maciejewski and returned it 20 yards for a huge score.
“We thought we had momentum for the second half, but we couldn’t get much going then,” coach McCauley said. “But after Ship got to within 21-14, with less than seven minutes to go we managed to pick up two first downs and that proved to be huge.”
McCauley produced his first winning season in his six years.
“It was Senior Night, so I’m happy for them,” McCauley said. “At the beginning of the season, you never know how you’re going to stack up. We did well with not getting too many injuries. But I’m extremely happy to be 7-3 and in the playoffs.”
Alvey had a good game throwing the ball, picking up 136 yards and two scores on a 12-for-15 night. Carter McCauley caught 5 for 58 yards and a pair of TDs.
Greencastle-Antrim 21, Shippensburg 14
Shippensburg 0 0 7 7 — 14
Greencastle 0 21 0 0 — 21
GA — Carter McCauley 16 pass from Logan Alvey (Andrew Bowers kick), 7:37
GA — McCauley 11 pass from Alvey (Bowers kick), 1:12
GA — Garrett Blubaugh 20 interception return (Bowers kick), 1:02
Sh — No. 6 1 run (kick good), 0:20
Sh — No. 45 2 run (kick good), 7:01
Rushing — Xzavier Ramsey 11-38, Surzano Solomon 5-27, Cody Ferree 6-21, Carter Coons 6-19, Trent Merillat 2-7.
Passing — Alvey 12-15-0-136.
Receiving — McCauley 5-58, Solomon 2-31, Coons 2-28, Ramsey 2-16, Blubaugh 1-3.